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Gold Cup finalists U.S. and Mexico square off Friday on FS1, Univision - This Week in MLS

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46   //    03 Sep 2019, 17:05 IST

Credits: ESPN.com
Credits: ESPN.com

Top Things to Know in MLS This Week:

Three clubs have clinched: The Eastern Conference’s Philadelphia Union and New York City FC punched their tickets to the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, joining Western Conference titans LAFC.


West is still wide open: With only four points separating the No. 2 team from No. 7, six Western Conference clubs are vying for position to lock down homefield advantage for the postseason.


Philly is for real: The Union returned to top of the Eastern Conference after an epic comeback knocked off trophy-toting Atlanta United.


Seventeen MLS players to don stars and stripes: MLS players make up 65 percent of the announced 26-man U.S. Men’s National Team roster for upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay.


U.S U-23s stacked with MLS talent: 23 MLS academy products, including 18 current MLS players, will face Japan in a tune-up match on Sept. 9 ahead of the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship from March 20-April 1.

 


Gold Cup finalists U.S. and Mexico square off Friday on FS1, Univision

Meeting for the first time since the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final, the U.S. and Gold Cup-winning Mexico will square off this Friday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1 / Univision / TUDN).

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U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter’s side features 17 MLS players, including Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan and 22-year-old defender Miles Robinson fresh off their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory against Minnesota United on Aug. 27. Guzan – who leads all MLS goalkeepers with 12 shutouts in 2019 – is looking to add to his U.S. MNT-leading 60 appearances, while Robinson is in search of his first international cap. In addition to Robinson, FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and FCD midfielder Paxton Pomykal – the captain of the USA’s FIFA U-20 World Cup squad earlier this year – are also looking to make their senior national team debuts.


LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos heads Mexico’s roster after scoring the lone goal in Mexico’s 1-0 victory against the USA in the Gold Cup Final on July 7, while also earning Gold Cup Best XI honors. He is one of three MLS players called in by Mexico manager and former MLS Cup-winning Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, joining Galaxy teammate Uriel Antuna and Philadelphia Union midfielder Marco Fabian.


Can the U.S. MNT’s mix of bourgeoning MLS youth and veteran leadership turn the tables from this year’s Gold Cup, or will dos Santos and Co. be primed to follow up their championship result from two months ago? 


Young South American stars receive first calls for Argentina, Colombia, UruguayMore than 120 MLS players are set to participate in international competition during the September FIFA Window. A total of 121 players representing 29 national team federations will play in either international friendlies or continental tournaments across the globe, with additional rosters set to be announced in the coming days.


Among the MLS standouts set to appear with their national teams is Los Angeles Football Club 19-year-old forward Brian Rodríguez who receives his first-ever call to the Uruguay National Team. Since signing as a Young Designated Player in August, Rodríguez has appeared in two matches for LAFC, adding another dangerous weapon in the attack for the Supporters’ Shield leaders. 

 

Elsewhere in CONMEBOL, 20-year-old Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco and 19-year-old Inter Miami CF forward Julián Carranza both received their first calls to represent the Argentina U-23 squad. LAFC 22-year-old midfielder Eduard Atuesta also received his first call to the Colombia U-23 National Team.


Among the young South Americans also representing their senior national teams include LAFC 20-year-old defender Diego Palacios and Seattle Sounders FC 24-year-old defender Xavier Arreaga for the Ecuador National Team. The duo is among three MLS players called for Ecuador, joining a long list of South American standouts from the league headed to national team duty. Others include Peru (five players), Venezuela (four), Chile (three), and Paraguay (two).


A full list of MLS players called into their national teams during the FIFA September Window can be found HERE.

 


Sixth Annual Kick Childhood Cancer Campaign to benefit Children’s Oncology Group All 24 MLS clubs will support MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, in the month-long Kick Childhood Cancer campaign, which benefits Children’s Oncology Group. Activations and campaign elements in this sixth year of the initiative will take place in-stadium, on league social and digital channels, and national and regional broadcasts. MLS will make a $1 donation to Children's Oncology Group for each social media post that includes the hashtag #KickChildhoodCancer on social media platforms.

 

For more information on Kick Childhood Cancer, Children’s Oncology Group or other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks. To donate directly to Children’s Oncology Group, visit http://soc.cr/lbNv30lAEf8.

 


International friendly

(Time ET)

Friday, Sept. 6

∙ U.S. Men's National Team vs. Mexico, 8:30 p.m., FS1, Univision, TUDN


MLS Regular Season Schedule: Week 27

(Times ET)

Saturday, Sept. 7

∙ New York City FC vs. New England Revolution, 3:55 p.m., Univision, Twitter

∙ FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m., TSN

∙ Orlando City SC vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 7:30 p.m.

∙ Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m.

∙ Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:50 p.m.


FOR MORE:

MLS Media Resources

MLS Press Releases

2019 MLS Fact and Record Book

MLS Regular Season: Week 27 Notes


Saturday, Sept. 7

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution, 3:55 p.m. ET (Univision, Twitter)

  • NYCFC won a fourth consecutive game, clinching a berth in the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in the process, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-0 at BC Place on Saturday evening. Héber scored his 14th goal of the season, tied for fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The Revolution extended their undefeated streak to four games, reaching a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. Gustavo Bou netted his sixth goal of the season, in his eighth MLS appearance.
  • The Revolution have a three-game undefeated streak in the series between the clubs, winning in the last meeting, a 1-0 victory last Sept. 5 at Yankee Stadium. The teams also reached a 2-2 draw last March 24 at Gillette Stadium.
  • NYCFC has won three of the six meetings all-time in the Bronx, including both matchups there in 2017. The Revs are undefeated over the last three meetings in Foxborough, Mass.; NYCFC has won once at Gillette Stadium, a 1-0 victory on July 6, 2016.

FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN)

  • FC Cincinnati were officially eliminated from playoff contention in their inaugural MLS season, following a 3-1 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. Emmanuel Ledesma scored his fifth goal of the season, his third in the past six games.
  • Toronto FC extended their undefeated run to four matches, reaching a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. Nicolas Benezet scored his first MLS goal for the TFC tally.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, and the second time in their histories. Nick DeLeon scored in the first half and set up a Jozy Altidore second-half goal as Toronto FC took a 2-1 win on July 27 at BMO Field.

Orlando City SC vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Orlando City SC had a two-game undefeated streak on the road put to an end, falling 3-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • LAFC lost for the first time at home all season, dropping a 2-0 decision to Minnesota United FC at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday evening. The defeat ended the LAFC home undefeated run at 19 games, dating back to last Aug. 15, equaling the seventh-longest in MLS history.
  • The teams met once in LAFC’s inaugural MLS season, the expansion team taking a 4-1 win on July 7 at Banc of California Stadium.

Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m. ET

  • The Rapids put an end to a three-game winless run in Robin Fraser’s club coaching debut, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. Jonathan Lewis netted a pair of goals, his first career multiple-goal game in MLS.
  • Sounders FC won for a second consecutive match, defeating the LA Galaxy 4-3 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday evening. Cristian Roldan netted a pair of goals, including the match-winner in the 89th minute; he has three goals in the past two games.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kelvin Leerdam and Raúl Ruidíaz netted goals in the opening eight minutes as Sounders FC took a 2-0 victory on March 9 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Sounders FC have won the past five meetings between the teams, over the last three seasons. Those victories came after a three-game winning streak for the Rapids in the series – which had come on the heels of a five-game Sounders FC winning streak in the series.
  • Sounders FC have won five of the past six meetings in Commerce City, Colo., in both league and MLS Cup Playoffs competition, dating back to 2014. Sounders FC have won the past three meetings in Seattle – all by shutout (now 317 minutes since their last home goal conceded vs. Colorado).

Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:30 p.m. ET

  • The Timbers put an end to a two-game losing slide, defeating Real Salt Lake by the game’s lone goal at Providence Park on Saturday evening. Diego Valeri scored the Portland goal, a goal for a second consecutive match, now with eight for the season.
  • Sporting claimed a third consecutive victory, defeating the Houston Dynamo by the game’s only goal at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday evening. Johnny Russell scored the SKC goal, his ninth of the season.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time this season, the first of two encounters over the run-in to the end of the season. They face off for the return match on Sept. 29 at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • The teams met twice a season ago. Sporting won the last meeting, a 3-0 victory at home on Aug. 18. They reached a goalless draw on June 9 at Providence Park.
  • The road team has won five of the 14 meetings all-time in the series. Each team won on their home ground in 2016, the only team home-field advantage prevailed in a season series. Sporting have come away with points on six of their eight visits to Providence Park, including four victories; the Timbers have gained points on three of their past five visits to KC (one win, two draws).
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